Local priest involved in Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Lawsuit

Daisy Garcia Montoya
Editorial Assistant


A priest who served at Holy Cross Catholic Church on St. John Avenue is involved in one of two new sexual abuse lawsuits against the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph.


The lawsuit, filed July 20, 2020 in Jackson County Circuit Court, alleges that Rev. Darvin Salazar sexually assaulted the unnamed plaintiff, age 25, in July 2018. The lawsuit alleges that the diocese had received previous reports regarding Salazar from at least five other individuals but chose not to remove him as a priest until the July 2018 allegations.


The ten-count indictment includes allegations of battery, breach of special relationship, fraud, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, failure to supervise clergy and false imprisonment.


In 2018, Salazar served Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Peace and Holy Cross, where the alleged rape occured. The lawsuit alleges that Salazar assaulted the victim in July 2018 in the rectory at Holy Cross, and prevented the victim from leaving.


Raised in a devout Roman Catholic family, the victim had been very involved with the religion and church and had served as an altar boy.


“Plaintiff’s academic, religious and social activities all revolved around his church,” according to the lawsuit. “At that time, Plaintiff’s faith was part of his upbringing. His heritage, sense of identity and belonging were rooted in the Catholic Church.”


After graduating from high school, the victim attended a parochial school where Salazar and other priests frequently visited, and he viewed Salazar as a mentor.


The lawsuit alleges that in July 2018, Salazar asked the victim to go to Holy Cross under the impression that spiritual counseling, comfort and advice would be provided. When the victim arrived, Salazar plied him with alcohol and began to attempt to seduce the student, the lawsuit said.


“Later that night, Fr. Salazar overpowered the plaintiff and forcibly sexually molested, assaulted, and raped the student in the rectory of Holy Cross Church,” according to the lawsuit. “Defendant Salazar locked the door to Plaintiff’s room, took his cell phone and prevented the Plaintiff from leaving the premises of Holy Cross Church and Parish before, during and after the sexual assault of Plaintiff.”


After the allegation in 2018, the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph released a statement which said that Salazar had been put on leave from all duties and remains under suspension without the authority to present himself as a priest.


In a September 2018 press release, the diocese said it was actively cooperating in a police investigation of that incident. All allegations against Salazar were presented to law enforcement but no criminal charges were made, the diocese said.


Since Salazar was put on leave in 2018, other adults have made additional reports to the diocese involving Salazar.


“Fr. Salazar is known to have chosen the most vulnerable Hispanic victims,” Rebecaa Randles, the victim’s attorney, said. “We believe several are afraid to report.”


Randles said that those who don’t feel comfortable going to the police to make a report are encouraged and welcome to contact her office for help.
According to Randles, Salazar’s whereabouts are unknown, although he cannot present himself as a priest.


“Salazar seems to be an especially shrewd predator and we suspect some of his victims don’t even realize that they’ve been sexually violated,” said David G. Clohessy, a clergy sex abuse survivor and director of the Missouri Chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). “We urge KC Bishop James Johnston to aggressively reach out to anyone with suspicions or knowledge of his wrongdoing and prod them to get help from independent sources like therapists, prosecutors, loved ones and support groups like ours.”

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Northeast groups host meet and greet with new City Manager

    February 26th, 2021
    by

    Residents of Northeast had the opportunity to meet Kansas City’s new city manager Brian Platt in a virtual event hosted […]


    Fresh Market donates $30,000 in food to Northeast organizations

    February 25th, 2021
    by

    By Abby Hoover and Nikki Lansford Fresh Market – Mercado Fresco, the newest addition to the Independence Avenue business community, […]


    Stray bullet from overnight gun battle causes gas leak at Indep/Benton Blvds.

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Independence Avenue is closed at Benton Boulevard this morning. Sources say that a rolling gun battle that occurred overnight in […]


    Kansas City T-Bones rebranded to honor historic Negro League Kansas City Monarchs

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Nikki Lansford Editorial Assistant One of Kansas City’s most noteworthy sports teams is heading to the field once more. President […]


    ‘Bobbi Jo: Under the Influence’ now streaming

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Last week, the long anticipated documentary on the life story of Healing House founder Bobbi Jo […]


    MAKING OUR MUSEUM

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Sponsored ContentNortheast News Over the next seven months, The Northeast News and the Kansas City Museum are collaborating on a […]


    Storytelling on the Streetcar: Celebrating Black Culture

    February 23rd, 2021
    by

    On Friday, February 26 at 7 p.m., Kansas City is virtually invited to join KC Streetcar’s Third Annual Black History […]


    City provides options for warrants, fines

    February 22nd, 2021
    by

    The Kansas City Municipal Court and City Prosecutor’s Office are working together to host #ResolveIt, a special campaign from now through […]


  • Missouri expands eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine

    February 18th, 2021
    by

    As of Thursday, Feb. 18, Missouri opened vaccination eligibility to Phase 1A, Phase 1B – Tier 1 and Tier 2. […]


    Northeast partners to host meet-and-greet with new city manager

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Nikki Lansford Editorial Assistant Residents will have an opportunity to meet Kansas City’s new city manager Brian Platt in a […]


    Apartment fire displaces Northeast tenants

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Residents of more than a dozen apartments at 504 and 506 Gladstone Blvd. were left out […]


    City considers annual budget proposal

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The City of Kansas City, Mo., has begun discussion on its next annual budget. The preliminary […]


    Kansas City Public Library receives grants for youth, technology programs

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Kansas City Public Library has recently been awarded two grants, one that will bring a Mobile […]


    Weather impacts City services

    February 16th, 2021
    by

    Due to frigid temperatures, road conditions and crews’ safety, Kansas City, Mo., residents should expect delays with trash and recycling this […]


    Power outages, winter temperatures cause closures

    February 16th, 2021
    by

    Due to local utility companies planning power outages to conserve energy, below zero temperatures and slick roads – on top […]


    Evergy begins rolling outages as energy demand rises amid freezing temperatures

    February 15th, 2021
    by

    On Monday, Feb. 15, after frigid temperatures had persisted for over a week in the Kansas City metro, energy provider […]


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.